Semnani in Iran

The Semnani have only been reported in Iran
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

We don't know about the origins of the Semnani people, but their language might offer a clue. It is related to the language of the ancient Medes who were associated with the Persians of old. They are a small people group in northern Iran near the Caspian Sea.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Little is known about their specific lifestyle, but we might assume they are primarily herdsmen. More than half of Iran is either rugged terrain or wasteland, most of which is uninhabitable salt deserts. The Semnani people have a small population, so most likely the land does not sustain many people. They probably suffer from a lack of adequate health care facilities. Many small towns and rural areas suffer from unsanitary conditions and a shortage of medical personnel and facilities. Contagious diseases such as scarlet fever, whooping cough, pulmonary tuberculosis, and typhoid fever are a danger to the Semnani people. The infant mortality rate is a serious problem; it is very high by both international and Middle Eastern standards. Life expectancy is about 65 years for both sexes. Although five years of primary education is compulsory in Iran, many rural children from the Semnani people never attend school because of either parental objection or a lack of facilities. The secondary school system is relatively undeveloped, and it serves mainly to prepare a small number of students for university-level education.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Semnani are virtually all Muslim. They believe that the one, supreme god, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. Like most Muslims, the Semnani people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Semnani people need adequate schools and medical clinics. Iran remains closed to traditional missionary work, but there is a strong and growing Church. Semnani people need Iranian believers to take Christ to their communities.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving Christ followers in Iran to reach the Semnani people, resulting in a movement to Christ. Pray for the Semnani people to have a hunger and thirst for righteousness that will soon be satisfied by a relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for the Lord to pave the way for the Semnani people to find their way to the cross and the empty grave. Pray for the Lord to raise up a faith-filled Church among the Semnani people this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Semnani in Iran.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Semnani
People Name in Country Semnani
Pronunciation sem-NAH-nee
Alternate Names
Population this Country 74,000
Population all Countries 74,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 14846
ROP3 Code 108829
ROP25 Code 307364
ROP25 Name Semnani
Country Iran
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Semnan Province.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Iran
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Semnan Province..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Semnani in Iran Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Semnani (74,000 speakers)
Language Code smy   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Semnani (74,000 speakers)
Language Code smy   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Semnani

Primary Language:  Semnani

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Photo Source Studiozanla - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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